The Zimmerman verdict
Bullshit. That’s probably the one word I would use to describe what’s been going on with this Zimmerman trial and that he got away with killing someone.
How do we, who live in countries abroad, have a say in this? What can we say that could explain how we feel about what has happened, not only to Trayvon, but to many young adults who end up at the wrong place, the wrong time?
I could just as easily play the side of those who throw in the race card (and there is sufficient evidence to support that claim), but I’m more on the side of those who feel there is a fundamental problem with the judiciary system, particularly the one in Florida. Two examples this past week make this very abundantly clear.
The first is the Zimmerman verdict. It’s bullshit because he didn’t have to kill anyone and to claim self-defense against a kid who was unarmed and was provoked is ludicrous. Forget that Zimmerman is half-white/half-hispanic and Martin is Black. One’s a large adult, the other’s a scrawnier teenaged boy. The bigger man stalked and abused his authority as a neighbourhood watchperson and provoked Martin without just cause. He called the police and didn’t wait for them to show up to enact his own way of “justice”. There isn’t much we can say on how he got those injuries, whether Martin caused them or whether they were self-inflicted. What remains as fact is that gunshots were fired for no reason for the mere claim of self-defense when a gun wasn’t needed.
What’s even worse is that the police should’ve had more suspicion behind Zimmerman’s reasons for firing his gun at an unarmed Martin rather than just believing a simple plea of self-defense and the “stand your ground” law they have in Florida.
To even add salt to this wound is that the gun that was used in the killing was returned to Zimmerman along with his freedom, which I would never believe for one moment was earned.
The second example is of a black woman from the same state who had every right to exercise the “stand your ground” law to defend herself with a firearm and all she did was fire warning shots at her husband who was about to physically harm her. Her intent was likely to fire these shots as a warning to him to stop what he’s doing to her, otherwise the next time she will shoot to kill. She ends up being arrested for her act of courage and sentenced to the mandatory minimum sentence of 20 years. She killed no one, she “stood her ground”, she defended herself, and she is now serving a jail term for it.
I’ll get to what really bothers me about this whole week shortly, but for this kind of law that promotes self-defense, when people abuse it, people who are in a position of authority, they seem to get off scott free and go back to their daily lives without any problems while those that really, truly do need this law to protect themselves are those who suffer the most from the judicial system. Is it because they’re black that they’re less favoured by the system, or is it because they’re regular people oppressed by those in power? In both cases, the woman and Martin were both black, both victims of a Florida law that seems to be biased towards people who either are white or have a position of power, even if its by a small amount.
But here is where it upsets me the most and I find this to be disturbing whenever I see it. It’s the comments that I read from people chipping in on either the huffington post article link, or a Facebook post from a certain group. For every one person that seems to have a logical argument that reflects how I feel about this situation, five more will jump in and call that person a racist for suggesting that its about race or that they’re quick to call Trayvon a thug, as though they’re defending Zimmerman’s case.
Well, I’m glad at least some people out there have a certain degree of sanity and reason, otherwise we’d all be living in an asylum.
And if it feels like I’m playing the race card with my thoughts, remember that the courts rejected all the black votes and won Bush the electoral college votes to become president. I think often enough, playing the race card might be necessary.